Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Production Update--Lead Times

A couple months ago we received some favorable press and unfortunately our lead times have suffered as a result. So we're trying to streamline our production in order to not only catch up, but also dial back those lead times to a more realistic level. Nobody really wants to wait 6 weeks to get their vises, and we completely understand that. One of our machinists' father passed away last week, and another has suffered a broken ankle. These unforeseen delays are just as frustrating to us as they are to you. Those taking up the slack are working extra time in order to fulfill orders. For those of you at the 6-week mark now, we're hoping to get your vises out by Friday this week. After that, we should start to gain on our lead times. Thanks for being patient.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Benchmakers Apprentice: Routing the Dog Holes

Well, today I got out my bench top and decided to make some dog holes. I begin by planing this piece of Ash, which will be the front section of the split top, because our jointer couldn't accommodate the 11+ inches of solid Ash.

After planing the face flat, I jointed the edge and, using the planing machine, planed the piece to thickness.

Here is a left-over piece of ash that will serve the purpose of the dog hole laminate very nicely.

Here is a little layout of what the dog hole should look like after being routed. Below is a top view for your viewing pleasure.

Before just going in and routing out all of that material, I take a saw, or two, and cut down about an eighth away from the entire depth of the router cut and also about an eighth away from the dog hole wall. So, in actuality, the router is cutting very little material, but we're still getting a perfect looking hole.

I put tape on the saw to remind me not to cut too deep.

Now, just taking an old chisel, I break out all that material that we don't need.

Here is the jig I'll be using. Very complex, patented, and covered with A LOT of insurance.

As you can see, after clearing out most of the material, the router won't be doing too much work.

And there you go! A great looking dog hole. Next we just need some dogs to occupy the space.

See you next week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tail Vise Dims

We've received this question countless times in the past. We thought it prudent to finally provide it (sorry for the delay). We're going to add this to the FAQ and instructions so you can plan your bench more effectively. The end dimensions for the rest of the vise are included in the templates/instructions, which you can download here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Benchmaker's Apprentice: Installing the Glide Hardware

The Glide leg vise, a welcome addition to any bench. Not only welcome, but necessary. I begin by finding the apex of the circle on the left side of the hole in the front left leg of the bench. I mark a line from that around to the side.

It's hard to see, but after marking the line in the last picture, I transferred it to the inside of the hole. Then I pushed the chop in all the way, made sure it was parallel, and marked the same line on the chop itself, putting my pencil through the hole and transferring it over.

Now I just carry the line all the way to the other side of the chop and mark for the center.

And, by golly, it lines up!

At this point, I also made a couple long draw-bore pegs for the parallel guide so the chop wouldn't fall out while I tried to fit everything.

On the outside of the chop, I drill a clearance hole about 1/4” deep. There is a washer behind the flange for the vise that will fit in this hole. Then I use a 1-3/8" bit to drill completely through for the screw itself.

You are now witnessing a lack of pictures. I have to apologize, I must have fallen asleep while doing this part. I will just explain it, in English (Sorry, I'll upload an alternative audio track later). Below is just a photo from the Glide Instructions PDF.

After drilling the large center hole, I took the vise wheel and put the screw in the hole, trying to center it as perfectly as possible. Then making sure the flange was completely horizontal, I take a center hole punch and mark for the two holes I'll drill to hold the vise in place.

Now I am drilling for the nut that goes on the reverse side of the leg. I am very serious about my drilling.
It is important to make sure this nut lines up with the center of the hole. If the nut is off center, the screw will be off center, and it will rub and you won't be "Glide"ing the way you want.

On the face of the leg, I routed out this area for the bushing that guides the screw. Here, I am squaring up the corners with a chisel.

Then I simply lined up the bushing in the center of the space, center punched the holes and drilled them.

And... you will have to wait to see the Glide done! See you next week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Benchmakers Apprentice: Roller Guides

So here we are, making a couple roller brackets for the Glide Leg Vise I will be installing. I took a piece of ash I had left over and cut the ends on the band saw as you can see in the picture above.

I should have drilled this hole before cutting into the wood, so to minimize blow-out and/or breakage of the Fraxinus americana I put a small piece in between.

And that isn't looking too bad! After drilling both ends like the one above, I cut the piece in half so I could work on each bracket individually.

A nice fit.

Now these brackets need some slots so that they can be mounted to the bench leg and have some adjustability.

I use a forstner bit for drilling out these slots because forstners won't slip and they usually go where you point them. If only everything was like a forstner bit...

This is the hole for the fastener that holds the wheel shaft in.

Tapping the hole.

La magnifique!

Now those brackets need somewhere to go.

After marking for the holes for the brackets(two for each), I went ahead and counter sunk the holes a bit.

Then I tapped the holes a little bit. Well, actually a lot.

The backbone of the Glide is now done!